The Board of Trustees of the Concord Community Music School is comprised of community leaders, professionals, and volunteers, all of whom work actively on behalf of the School. We thank all those who help support us in our mission. If you would like more information about the Board of Trustees or advocating for the Music School, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board members, 2021-2022:
Richard C. Simpson, Jr. - chair
Richard C. Simpson, Jr. (chair) is Administrative Director of Music on Norway Pond and a Certified Primal Health Coach. He has been an executive of high technology companies, and a senior member of two strategy consulting firms. Prior to his current service with the Music School, he was a trustee for six years and a voice student. He is immediate past chair of Boston’s Cantata Singers, and a member of the vestry of All Saints’ Church in Peterborough, N.H. Rick has sung opera roles with the Boston Lyric Opera and other companies and has been tenor soloist with many regional and local orchestras and choruses, including the chamber orchestra of Monadnock Music and the Monadnock Chorus. He was a New England finalist in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions. Rick is married to the conductor Johanna Hill Simpson. They have three sons, six grandchildren, one dog, and one cat. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School.
Kass Ardinger - vice chair
Kassandra Spanos Ardinger (vice chair) serves on the Board of Trustees of the University System of New Hampshire, appointed in 2016 by Governor Maggie Hassan and re-appointed in 2020 by Governor Chris Sununu. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), a national organization devoted to serving higher education, students, and the public through advocacy and leadership in assuring academic quality through accreditation. Prior to her role on the CHEA board, Kass spent six years as a commissioner on the New England Commission of Higher Education, which is the regional accrediting agency for colleges and universities in the six New England states. She previously served on the Concord School Board from 2007-2015 and was its chair from 2008-2013. Kass has lived in Concord for 32 years with her husband, Bill, who also served on the CCMS Board. They raised three children, all of whom were students at CCMS.
Carl Cooley - clerk
Gary M. Shirk - treasurer
Gary M. Shirk (treasurer) came to New Hampshire in 1984 to take a management position at Yankee Book Peddler (YBP Library Services) in Contoocook, where he served in numerous positions including nine years as President and Chief Operating Officer, retiring in September 2008. After working first as a consultant, then as co-owner and Vice President of operations, he became sole owner and President of Bovie Fabrication and Printing, located in Bow, N.H. In 2021 he sold the company to his management team and is now retired. Over the years, he has served on a number of not-for-profit boards of directors, including the United Way of Merrimack County, the Granite United Way, Kimball Jenkins, Inc., and the Board of The New American Baccalaureate Project.
Doug Bechtel is the President of NH Audubon, responsible for day-to-day operations, budgeting, and staff management since June of 2016. Previously, Doug was Executive Director at Audubon International, an independent non-profit that helps businesses become more ecologically and economically sustainable. Doug also served as Science Director for the New Hampshire Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, serving on many committees and partnerships guiding regional and state-wide conservation and environmental initiatives. Doug has been a naturalist and birder most of his life, working in such diverse geographies as Southeastern Arizona, the Grand Canyon, northern Minnesota, and throughout New England. Doug holds an M.S. from UVM’s Field Naturalist Program Wildlife Management, and a B.S. in Biology from Grinnell College. He enjoys birding, biking, folk guitar, and cross-country skiing, and is also busy teaching his 10-year-old daughter Myrica two of his passions: music and birds.
Nathan W. Faulkner, MD
Nathan W. Faulkner, MD is a local pediatrician who returned to New Hampshire in 1999 to join a small, private practice in Concord. He grew up playing piano and saxophone and was encouraged to take fiddle lessons by his wife who grew tired of listening to him play on their children’s instruments. He enjoyed fiddling for many years and was lucky enough to fall in with some genuinely good musicians for weekly sessions of food and bluegrass music. Prior to his return to New Hampshire, Nathan worked for several years as a NOLS instructor, teaching wilderness skills including rock climbing and mountaineering in Wyoming and Kenya. In keeping with his climbing interests, Nathan is a founder and a co-owner of the local climbing gym, NH Climbing and Fitness. His three children have all taken lessons through the Music School’s strings and folk departments.
Jessica Forrest comes to the Music School with experience in strategic planning and marketing communications for mission-oriented business. Earlier in her career, Jessica worked in the science programs of international conservation nonprofits as an ecologist and GIS specialist, providing research and capacity building support to remotely based field programs. Her work took her to places such as the high Himalayas and to eastern and central Africa, fueling her interest in diverse cultures and CCMS’ outreach to New Americans. Jessica is a member of the Concord Energy and Environment Advisory Committee, where she engaged in the strategic planning effort for the city’s 100% renewable energy goal. More recently, she has worked on marketing and stakeholder engagement efforts including the Weatherize Concord campaign and the committee’s Market Days presence. Jessica earned her B.A. from Duke University, M.A. from Columbia University, and MBA from the University of New Hampshire. Jessica and her husband, Adam Pignatelli, are the parents of two energetic boys, who are CCMS students and budding musicians. Jessica studied piano – while listening to extensive opera at home – while growing up.
Kelley Gelinas has been with TD Bank for the past 15 years and currently serves as Field Marketing Manager covering New Hampshire and Maine. This includes co-chairing their internal Serving Diverse Communities Resource Group and serving on three other diversity-related committees; LGBTQ2+, Individuals with Disabilities, and Veterans Resource Groups. Kelley is an active community volunteer and currently serves as Board Chair for Special Olympics New Hampshire and Vice President for the New Hampshire Gay Men’s Chorus. She enjoys kayaking, reading, and spending time with her grandchildren, which happily includes introducing them to all genres of music.
Karen M. Jantzen
Karen M. Jantzen has worked in non-profit administration for the past 25 years. In 2014, she joined the leadership team of Riverbend Community Mental Health where she oversees Community Wellness Education programming, marketing, public relations, and fundraising as the VP of Community Affairs. Karen credits music therapy for teaching her youngest child how to talk and read. She is also witness to the powerful role music therapy has in treatment plans for children living with serious emotional disturbances and adults living with a serious mental illness. Karen holds a B.A. from Denison University, an M.P.A. from University of New Hampshire, and is a Certified Fundraising Executive. She has served on the Boards of Woodside School, St. Andrew’s Church in Hopkinton, and the Northern New England Chapter of the Association for Fundraising Professionals; she currently sits on the board of the American Furniture Masters Institute. Karen has four adult children and resides in Contoocook. She enjoys kayaking, hiking, skiing, and the amazing wonders of nature.
Carmine D. Tomas, Esq.
Maryann LaCroix Lindberg
Maryann LaCroix Lindberg (interim executive director) is president of Philanthropy Resource Group LLC, a group she founded that helps non-profit organizations with capacity-building, community engagement, fundraising, strategic planning, and leadership development. She began serving as interim executive director of the Music School in July of 2021. Lindberg, who holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from Penn State, is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and 35-year member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals with decades of experience raising money for non-profits throughout the country. Previously, Lindberg was the Vice President for Advancement at Keene State College for eight years, a position that oversaw the development, alumni, constituent relations, and marketing and communications departments for the College. Lindberg was a professional international touring musician (vocalist) early in her career, and retains a passion for music, singing in groups near her home in southwest New Hampshire.